As communications technology and transport continue to evolve, central locations for office headquarters or industrial space becomes less imperative. We have seen this in the migration of businesses away from London. However, the phenomenon shows ripples in a smaller way regionally.
Larger Surrey towns such as Guildford, Woking and Farnham are known to be fantastic business hubs or market towns. Their connectivity in both directions, into London and to the South coast, via rail and road is well established and swift. So where else is there to look for commercial space? Towns and villages that lie on the suburbs of Guildford, Woking and Farnham are on the up and offer great locations to find fantastic commercial space.
This affluent town is known as a residential hotspot for commuters. Its picturesque location on the River Wey and quaint town centre are attractive qualities for businesses too. It’s not just retailers who have flocked to this town, several global corporations have chosen Weybridge for their HQ including Sony and Proctor & Gamble. It’s fast becoming a location for professionals to seek both a living and working space.
Enjoying around 30 minutes travel time into London, Esher is fantastically well connected. This makes it an ideal location for smaller businesses seeking ease of access to clients or suppliers in the capital. The town’s proximity to sporting and hospitality events such as Sandown Park and the Hampton Court Flower Show makes entertaining clients hassle free.
Blossoming from a small regional stop on the railway line, West Byfleet has grown into a business destination in its own right. Its popularity amongst commuters makes it favoured by retailers and it already boasts a proportion of eateries and shops that belies the size of the village itself.
Following the major regeneration of the town centre around a decade ago, Walton on Thames has grown into a popular business and residential location. With investment continuing into the area, shown by the redevelopment of Walton Bridge in 2013, this town continues to grow in desirability. International commerce in construction and automotive industries have an established HQ presence here.
Predominantly a residential village, the rural areas around Cranleigh and Dunsfold are ideally located by road links to be the places to watch for industrial and warehouse space. Proximity into Guildford and onto the M3 mean that the space that this area can offer can be well utilised to transport goods around the country and overseas.
Existing as a self contained business destination, Chertsey is a desirable town to live, work and shop. Multi-nationals such as Samsung have already identified this. Think of it as a mini-Woking. Although closer geographically to London, and within the M25, the train line offers slower connections, perhaps preventing this town from growing as fast as the likes of Woking and Farnborough. However, this can offer benefits for growing businesses.
South of Guildford, town and village locations offer a mix of well sized industrial space and out of town business centre office locations. The attractive market town of Godalming is a hugely popular commuter residential location. As workers continue to seek a better work life balance, business park locations around this town are set to bring in more global brand HQ’s.
Well serviced by rail to both London and Portsmouth, Haslemere works for commuters to travel both in and out of the town. Affluent residents and strong cultural links including music and arts festivals and an arts centre, make the town desirable for independent retail. Similarly, the town’s strength of character make out of town locations ideal for contemporary corporations looking for something different.
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